SPARE: SPATIAL REHABILITATION WITH LEARNING, RECOMMENDATIONS AND GAMIFICATION
According to the European disability forum, disabled people represent 10% of the population in Europe; among them, persons with reduced mobility represent more than 40% of this population (http://www.edf-feph.org/). The percentage of relatives and acquaintances adversely affected by such disabilities represents 40% of the total population (Cairo Declaration on Supporting Access to Information and Communication Technology Services for Persons with Disabilities, Cairo, 2007).
75% of people with severe disabilities do not have the opportunity to fully participate in the European labour market. Persons with disabilities do not have equal access to education, are on the top of unemployment rates and generally live on significantly lower income.
The rationale of project SPARE is the application of motor learning theory in the rehabilitation of motor disorders, and recognition of the lack of adequate tools/environments for the dissemination of this knowledge to caregivers located far away from academic institutes and big cities. In addition, since the major objective is to promote independence in life of patients, the projects needs to take a step towards a more personalized and optimized rehabilitation strategy.
SPARE focuses on two levels of innovation and research:
• Novel scientific approach of motor learning in rehabilitation where contemporary knowledge of brain function and plasticity will be incorporated into coaching the rehabilitation community.
• Novel approach and platforms that will enable the evaluation of success in rehabilitation performance in several major dimensions,
Beyond what is available and used in conventional distance learning programmes:
o Assessing the success of SPARE by monitoring the patient’s motor functions and evaluating his/her motor performance.
o Using gamification techniques in order to increase the motivation and engagement of patients in the rehabilitation. In the recent years, it has been shown that an increased level of engagement in the rehabilitation routine is key to achieve a higher success with better quality of life and persistent results, which lead to a higher level of independence of the patient.
o Using consumer-level, portable, devices, such as the kinect sensor, for example. The use of this type of hardware highly reduces the need and cost of moving patients from home to their rehabilitation centres, sometimes in other cities, implying a high economic and personal cost.
o Constructing a Virtual community for the clinicians to share and disseminate their knowledge and experiences, making them accessible to all the community and especially to caregivers.
o Ubiquity. All data about patients’ performance in the rehabilitation will be accessible everywhere by the use of web services accessible from mobile and desktop devices. There will be special attention to the privacy issues about patient data and who has access to.
o Personalized assistance. A recommendation system will be able to personalize the rehabilitation strategy to the specific needs and evolution of each patient, in order to optimize its success.
Thus, expected results are the platform for smart gaming with personalized and adaptable rehabilitation itineraries and strategy, an online community to disseminate knowledge among clinicians and caregivers, and the integration of low-cost hardware architectures to evaluate the evolution of rehabilitation.